You might have seen it making the rounds in social media last week: a video of Beloiters reading our Statement of Culture (it’s posted below). Did you know that defining statement of community norms has recently undergone some tweaks? Below, current Beloit Student Congress President Cameron Dieter’16 talks to the Terrarium about the importance of these changes.
Terrarium: What was the change, exactly, and what precipitated the change?
Cameron Dieter’16: The change was precipitated by two main factors. For one, everyone who was on campus when the statement of culture was originally adopted in 2009 has since graduated, and we wanted to review the document to make sure it still applied to the current generation. Additionally, the committee that made the changes thought the Statement of Culture lacked a discussion of critical engagement, which is a piece we all feel is critical to our experience as Beloiters. All in all, the changes really amounted to two things: a reversing of “peers” and “institution” in the first paragraph, made to reflect the emphasis we place on each other in our learning community, and an additional sentence in the third paragraph about how we confront the issues we face as a community.
Terrarium: What's the importance of the change?
Cameron Dieter’16: The change really boils down to trying to better capture the spirit of Beloit. A unanimous reaffirmation of the principles of the Statement of Culture, and a further expansion of its reach, shows how seriously Beloiters take this document, as well as the values within it.
Terrarium: What affect does this have on students?
Cameron Dieter’16: While a change in the Statement of Culture has no tangible impact on the day-to-day proceedings of campus life, its purpose as an aspirational statement remains strong. We hope students will look at this document and really get excited about what it means and how it relates to our lives as Beloiters. Taking the time to critically reflect on what we are doing and who we want to be as a community is a big part of who we are here, and the Statement of Culture is a big piece of that.